SHOT IN THE DARK

The New York Times Goes Cruising At Gay Sex Clubs, Doling Out Meningitis Vaccines

nyt-meningitisThe New York Times has taken investigative reporting to new heights, or rather, depths. Reporter Anemona Hartocollis went out to New York underground, after-hours sex club Paddles — “the friendly S&M club” — with Dr. Demetre Daskalakis as he administered meningitis vaccines.

Cavorting with go-go boys “flashing their rock-hard backsides” and half- (and then some) naked revelers in the wee hours of the morning, The Times brings to light an unconventional but effective way of combating the mysterious outbreak among NYC’s “men who have sex with men” community:

Most of the men have checked their shirts at the door. Some have checked their pants. Conditions for injection could hardly be better. Before Lady Gaga can stutter out “Pa-pa-pa-poker face, pa-pa-poker face,” Dr. Daskalakis stabs them in the arm with a needle, applies a Band-Aid and sends them on their way. All over Paddles, men are happily sucking on the lollipops he is handing out as a reward.[…]

Knowing that Dr. Daskalakis has entree where government apparatchiks do not, the city supplies him with free vaccine. A week ago, he vaccinated men at a house party in Brooklyn, in a location he did not want to be disclosed, where the host set the mood by dressing in drag as a platinum-blond nurse. “The department of health loves that we’re here — loves, loves, loves,” he says, at Paddles.

Dr. D vaccinated some 700 people that day and as of May 13, the number of vaccinations has reached 10,200. But with Gay Pride season on the horizon, health officials warn that we’re not out of the woods quite yet.

“We have our fingers crossed,” said Dr. Jay Varma, the city’s deputy health commissioner for disease control. “One of the reasons we can’t be 100 percent confident is that there are a number of Gay Pride events coming up, where there are a lot of people coming into the city, a lot of people interacting together, so we want to get through that period before we are really celebrating controlling it.”

Photo: NYT/Interior.Leather Bar.